Newspapers fighting back to regain ad share


Relationals, which bills itself as "the leader in customer relationship management (CRM) and sales force automation (SFA) for the newspaper industry," announced that The E. W. Scripps Company has selected Relationals as its company-wide CRM platform to streamline sales processes and improve opportunity management across all its newspaper advertising teams.

"Relationals is revolutionizing the advertising sales industry for newspapers," Linda Sease, Vice President of Newspaper Marketing for Scripps, was quoted as saying. In her view, the Relationals system simplifies sales processes, adds a critical layer of collaboration, and enables effective targeting of potential advertisers with greater accuracy and more measurable results.

Based on success at the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, the Treasure Coast Newspapers, based in Stuart, Fla., and the Evansville (Ind.) Courier & Press, Scripps is now planning to roll out Relationals to all of its newspaper properties.

Scripps newspapers will use Relationals to execute opportunity-generating telesales and email campaigns, enable precise account activity monitoring, integrate sales efforts with existing business systems, and consistently collaborate around the sales process.

RBR observation: Radio, television, Internet sites and everyone else have been targeting daily newspapers as the place to shave off ad spending. And why not? The lumbering old dailies were an easy target – high-priced, inefficient and poorly targeted. Most put little effort into ad sales because they didn't have to – the business just kept coming to them out of habit. No more. The auto sector led the exodus from daily newspapers (and other "old media" properties as well) and other savvy advertisers have begun questioning the efficiency of using a medium that mostly misses the prime younger demos. But don't count out the newspapers. They are fighting back – and fighting for their survival. They will become better marketers, hire more sales people and train them better. The dailies aren't going away.